Trello as CRM

Using Trello as simple online CRM

As a result of Getting real with promoting my bootstrapped business, I needed to find some CRM (Customer relationship management) tool I could use on a daily basis.

My basic requirements were:

  • Online
  • Free(mium)
  • iOS app or at least mobile version
  • Support for multiple users

After testing few available software options from various lists, I’ve decided to reject all of them.
Even the ones which screamed “ideal for small businesses” were still way too complicated for my use case. I like simple things. It’s actually one of the key selling points of my SaaS business.

That’s why I’ve decided to use something I already know and have been using it for years. Because I don’t have all day for trying out 20 CRM apps.

The 3 simplest tools I could think of from top of my head were Trello, Evernote and Google Sheets.

Trello as CRM

Luckily, I was not the first one with this idea. There is a public board which can serve as a template – available for copying into your personal account.

Right, now it was just a matter of tweaking the copied board for my needs.

Lists for the CRM board:

  • Contacted me
  • Leads
  • Contacted
  • Ongoing deal
  • Won
  • Contact again (later)
  • Lost

Labels for the CRM board:

  • b2b 🏗 – b2b customers
  • b2c 🏠 b2c customers
  • Waiting for me 🏸 – It’s my turn to send a message, offer, whatever
  • Waiting for them 🏓 – It’s their turn to respond
  • Commercial – They are paying with cash
  • Barter – They are paying with something else, like a social media post, blog post, …

Power-ups for the CRM board:

  • Good old Card Aging with pirate 🏴‍☠️ theme, arrr!

Some basic rules I follow

99% of new cards goes to Leads. The rest 1% goes to Contacted me.
Assign labels appropriately over time – it can take a while to get all the information.
Every card represents one potential customer and should contain:

  • Bio
  • Source of the contact
  • Url(s) to personal website and public social profiles
  • Contact – email (best case), but also contact form or (worst case) LinkedIn/Facebook profile
  • Public photo – to ease out our memory

Trello as CRMLead detail preview

And… that’s it! Have tip for dead-simple and straightforward CRM? Ping me on Twitter.

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